SRINAGAR: Minimum temperatures continued to stay below freezing point in Kashmir Valley, with Srinagar recording a low of minus 3.0°C on Thursday.

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A meteorological department official said that while the temperature remained the same as the previous night in Srinagar, it was below normal by 3.2°C for the summer capital of JK at this time of the year.

Qazigund recorded a minimum of minus 2.0°C, the same as the previous night, and it was 1.9°C below normal for the gateway town of Kashmir, according to the MeT official.

Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 5.4°C, compared to minus 5.2°C the previous night, and it was 1.0°C below normal for the famous resort in south Kashmir.

Kokernag, also in south Kashmir, recorded a minimum of minus 0.2°C, the same as the previous night, and the temperature was above normal by 1.1°C for the area, the official said.

Kupwara town in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 3.3°C, compared to minus 3.4°C the previous night, and it was 3.1°C below normal there, the official stated.

Gulmarg, the official said, recorded a low of minus 3.2°C, compared to minus 4.2°C the previous night, and the temperature was above normal by 3.6°C for the world-famous skiing resort in north Kashmir.

Jammu recorded a minimum of 8.2°C, which was below normal by 2.3°C for the winter capital of JK.

Banihal recorded a low of 6.8°C, Batote 6.1°C, and Bhaderwah 2.0°C, he said.

The weatherman forecasted an “extended wet spell” in Jammu and Kashmir from Saturday night onwards until the afternoon of February 21.

“A couple of moderate to intense Western Disturbances are most likely to affect J&K and adjoining areas from February 17 afternoon onwards,” he said.

Under the influence of the weather Systems, he said, an “extended wet spell” is likely from February 17 (night) onwards till February 21 (Afternoon) most likely over JK and adjoining areas.

In the Kashmir Valley, he said, partly to generally cloudy weather with the possibility of light snow at isolated higher reaches is expected towards late Saturday night.

On February 18, he said, generally cloudy weather with the possibility of light to moderate rain and snow is expected at many places.

From February 19-20, he said, there is a possibility of light to moderate rain and snow at most places (plains and lower reaches) with the possibility of heavy snowfall over middle and higher reaches of Kupwara, Baramulla, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Badgam, Shopian, and Kulgam districts during late afternoon of February 19 to February 20 late night.

From February 21, he said, there is a possibility of light to moderate snow at many places until the afternoon and late afternoon and gradual improvement thereafter.

Regarding the Jammu division, he said, there is a possibility of light rain and snow at many places on Sunday.

From 19th-20th Feb, there is a possibility of intermittent light to moderate rain with thunder/lightning in plains of Jammu Division with light to moderate snowfall over higher reaches and heavy snowfall over isolated higher reaches of Ramban, Poonch, Doda, and Kishtwar.

“On February 21, he said, light to moderate snow/rain/thunder/lightning is expected over many places till late afternoon and evening and gradual improvement thereafter.

The MeT office also issued an advisory, stating that the system may lead to the temporary closure of roads of higher reaches and important passes like Sinthan pass, Mughal Road, Sadhna, Razdan pass, Zojila, etc.

“Travellers are advised to plan accordingly,” the MeT official said, adding, “farmers are advised to withhold irrigation and fertilizer application and drain out excess water from Orchards and fields during the above period.”

He said a significant drop in day temperature is expected during the period.

As ‘Chillai-Kalan’, the 40-day harsh period of winter, ended on January 29, Kashmir is presently in the middle of a 20-day-long winter period called ‘Chillai-Khurd’, which ends on February 19 and is followed by a 10-day-long period ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold), which starts from February 20 to March. (GNS)

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